Trustee Program on hold after inmate escapes from Monroe County jail
FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A program that’s been around for decades at the Monroe County Jail, now being questioned after an inmate escaped from the Monroe County Jail on Thursday.
Matthew Pippin was part of the Trustee Program at the county jail. A program that’s been around for decades, allowing inmates to work outside of their cell.
“They can become a trustee as long as they don’t have violent crime in their history, they haven’t had a drug arrest in the past few years,” said Sergeant Lawson Bittick, with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Pippin was in jail for violating probation on a non-violent drug offense.
“They meet the qualifications that we set in our policies and they can come out here and actually earn a 3-4-1,” said Sgt. Bittick. “For one day of spending out here working, washing cars, doing that kind of thing, they earn three days off of their sentence.”
He says the process is very selective. They go through a series of interviews. They never had a problem with the program until Thursday.
“This is the first escape, to my knowledge, from this jail, but this is a trustee that, you know obviously, had a better opportunity,” said Sgt. Bittick
Pippin was on his first day on the job working as a trustee, washing cars. Four hours went by, when the gate opened and a car came through. Pippin saw his moment of opportunity then ran.
“Based on video evidence, we see him running through this opened field, down to where animal control is, at the bottom of this hill, he runs to the bottom of it, goes through the woods,” said Sgt. Bittick.
After getting a ride from a family member, who had no idea he escaped, and four hours of being on the run Pippin was caught and taken back into custody. Sgt. Bittick says the trustee program is on hold at the moment.
“There will be an internal investigation, to see if there have been any policy violations by any of the employees, the office as a whole in response to it,” said Sgt. Bittick.
The jail already has a number of security measures, guards, cameras in every corner, and a system of getting inmates in and out of the jail. They will continue to work on security, and eventually trust.
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